Right Selection of Frames | Best Selection Of Frames For Men & Women
Right Selection of Frames | Best Selection Of Frames For Men & Women

Author - Janice Cheung (Optometrist)

Right selection of frames based on your prescription

We have a whole plethora of frames to choose from nowadays, with every colour and shape so it can be challenging to find the best selection of eyeglass frames for your prescription. However, if your prescription is complex, choosing the wrong frame in terms of horizontal size and vertical depth can be disastrous, and will not give you long term benefits.

Here are some guidelines for complex prescriptions:

1. Being short-sighted

If you are quite shortsighted (perhaps over -4.00), it is important to choose something horizontally narrow, so that the sides of the lenses on the outer side of your face (the temporal side) will not stick out too much. If the distance between your eyes, called the pupillary distance or PD is narrow (below 60mm) then you have to be ultra conservative in this approach as someone else with the same prescription but a bigger PD (probably above 65mm) will have a thinner lens due to the decentration of the lens.

Best options: narrow acetate or plastic frames – so the thickness of the frame can mask the thickness of the lenses.
Best to avoid: rimless or half rim – as the edge of the lens is exposed, making the lenses appear thicker.
Best lens options: high index lenses – compressed to be thinner.

2. Being long-sighted

If your prescription is around +3.00 or more, be very careful on your frame selection.

Best options: acetate or plastic frames – fully enclosed and also metal frames.
Best to avoid: half rim frames or metal inline frames as the lens thickness has to be thicker on the edge so that lenses don’t pop out.
Best lens options: aspheric high index lenses.  Ground – the lens diameter is smaller so the lenses are thinner. Aspheric will also make the magnification of the lenses less than normal spherical, reducing the “bug eye” effect.

Right Selection of Frames | Best Selection Of Frames For Men & Women

3. Multifocals

Ideally, aim for something with 1cm from the eyes to the top of the frame, giving you adequate area for the distance, and 2cm from the eyes to the bottom of the frame, giving you adequate reading area.  

Best options: deep frames – for more area vertically, so there is more room for the distance and reading, so things are not so squashed.  
Best to avoid: shallow frames where the eyes are positioned in the middle of the frame.

4. Prism lenses

If you have a prism in your prescription, to determine the alignment of the eyes, sometimes the degree of the prism can have an effect on the thickness of the lenses. You have to be especially careful if they are base out prisms, as that has the same effect of having a very shortsighted prescription so the lenses will be quite thick on the side. 

Best options: narrow acetate or plastic frames – so the thickness of the frame can mask the thickness of the lenses.
Best to avoid: rimless or half rim – as the edge of the lens is exposed, making the lenses appear thicker.
Best lens options: high index lenses – compressed to be thinner.

5. Prescription sunglasses

The prescription can be put in sunglasses but not all frames can fit the lens.   

Best options: flat frames, as that mimics the shape of normal optical glasses.
Best to avoid: curved frames as the lenses have to be made especially curved and that can distort the vision and big frames as sometimes the lenses cannot be put in. 

Always ask your eyecare professional when choosing your glasses frames as they deal with these things day in and day out. They will be able to advise you to choose the best glasses frames for your prescription whether you are browsing online, looking for men’s or women’s frames or simply visiting in-store to find your next pair. 

By Janice Cheung. 

Optometrist at 1001 Optical. 

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